Who doesn’t love Adele? The gorgeous UK singer has a voice like velvet and honey, and knows how to use it. Her songs about heartbreak and renewal have been known to reduce people to tears as they sing along to their car radio. She won 6 Grammy awards for her second record, 21, which detailed her painful break-up with a former boyfriend. She is a beautiful woman who is proud of her curves. I’ve had a few friends mention how refreshing it is to see someone on the red carpet who is the same size as them and who has the same figure that they do. Although the average American woman is now a size 12, most celebrities are a size 4. In an industry focused on skinny, Adele represents the majority of women.
Not everyone has embraced Adele’s curves, however. Karl Lagerfeld, a German fashion designer based out of Paris, was asked about Adele in an interview. He said that Adele was, “a little too fat, but she has a beautiful face and a divine voice.”
Lagerfeld backtracked fast, but to no avail. The Internet pounced all over him, mauling the designer with grammar-ridden insults and all caps condemnations.
Adele stayed philosophical about the whole issue. In an interview with People Magazine, she said, “I’ve never wanted to look like models on the covers of magazines. I represent the majority of women and I’m very proud of that.”
Yet some have questioned if Adele is actually proud of her body. The rumour mill has been abuzz with reports that Adele had a nose job. Then there’s the infamous interview where Adele stated that she, wait for it, wore “three or four pairs of Spanx” at the Grammys. Gasp! How can Adele possibly be proud of her voluptuousness when she wore Spanx?
To which I say, seriously? You seriously think wearing Spanx makes you insecure? That’s hardly the case. All that wearing Spanx means is that you have a more streamlined silhouette. It doesn’t mean that your self-esteem is sobbing in a corner during an existential crisis.
No doubt Adele has body image issues: The majority of women do (we are the 99 percent! Occupy self-esteem!). However, I really doubt that Adele is somehow ashamed of her body. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. She appears to be very happy with the way she looks, critics be damned.
It seems as though these nay-sayers are a little too desperate for Adele to be insecure with her body-image. It’s as though they need her to feel bad about herself so that they can feel superior. They need to look at someone and say, “well at least I don’t look like her.”
This attitude is all too pervasive among women. It starts at a young age and though it should be shed around junior high— or better yet, never start in the first place— it lingers on into adulthood. Instead of trying to instil this hierarchy of aesthetics among women, we should be tearing it down. Instead of celebrating a few select models, we should be celebrating all of our unique shapes, looks and ages.
Just like Adele is.